Thiruvananthapuram: Heritage Animal Taskforce, a state-based animal rights campaigner, has alleged that as many as 24 elephants were 'tortured' by compelling them to walk in the scorching sun as part of a recent temple festival in Thrissur district.
Violating the rules, a blind elephant was also paraded as part of the 'Cheerakuzhi shasti', a local festival two days ago, the HATF alleged.
"As many as 24 elephants were abused at this place from 11 AM to 7 PM compelling them to walk under scorching sunlight through tarred road of state highway," the outfit said in its complaint to the Director, Project Elephant, MoEF, New Delhi.
"This type of performance is a quite violation of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and Performing Animals Registration Rule 2001 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960," HATF secretary V K Venkitachalam said.
He also alleged that the blind elephant, Thechikottukavu Ramachandran which was paraded, has a track history of killing 11 people and three elephants.
"As per the elephant parade rules, it is unlawful to parade blind elephants. Parading of jumbos between 11 AM to 4 PM is also an unlawful activity. All these illegal activities occurred when the day temperature was 40 degree Celsius," he said.
The activist asked the authorities to initiate penal action against those responsible for "this type of organised crime" against elephants. PTI